Registered reps wanting to do advisory business get a bit of a break beginning this year with the rollout of a revamped Series 66 exam.

The redesigned Series 66 has been dubbed "65 Lite" and is for Series 7 reps who want to add investment adviser business. The 66 exam is a combination of the Series 63 state securities law exam and the Series 65 exam for investment advisers and investment adviser reps. The redesigned test was developed after the securities industry complained about overlap on the Series 7 and the old 66.

"The [new Series 66] exam was carefully crafted so it did not include any redundancies with the Series 7," says Brad Skolnik, Indiana securities commissioner and president of the North American Securities Administrators Association, the state regulators' group.

Along with changes to the Series 66, the Series 65 was also updated and made more comprehensive. The 65 will now be used for those who do not require securities registration.

Regulators hope the revised tests are more relevant. The exams include questions on investment vehicles and strategies, performance measurement, and client profiling.

"Both the Series 66 and 65 more comprehensively test investment advisers on the types of things they need to know to serve their clients," Skolnik says.